Ford To Race With Historic Liveries For GT’s Le Mans Swansong
The Ford GT in racing trim is both one of the most successful and one of the most controversial GT racing cars of the past decade. Having debuted in 2016 when the road car was yet to see the gleaming floors of a dealership, the GTE-spec Ford GT will retire as a factory race car after this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the final round of the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship Super-Season. The good news is that it’ll do it by giving a final tribute to its forerunners from half a century ago.
We’re less than a month away from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 87th running of the most famous sports car endurance race in the world. Last year, Porsche wowed the crowds with a pair of retro-liveried Porsches, namely the No. 91 Manthey Racing entry that sported a Rothmans-inspired color scheme and the No. 92 Manthey Racing entry that threw it back to 1971 and the emblematic Porsche 917/20 ’Pink Pig.’ A full year has gone by and, now, it is Ford’s turn to delve into its storied past. If Porsche’s performance last year (a pole with the No. 91 car in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni and the victory in the GTE-Pro class with the No. 92 squad) is any indication of how retro-liveried entries fare at Le Mans, the Ford works program will end with a bang.
Niki Lauda, The Three-Time F1 World Champion Has Passed Away
Niki Lauda, one of Formula 1’s genuine heroes that survived the deadly ’70s to start his own airline company and, in recent years, be a key figure behind Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ success story in Formula 1 has died at the age of 70 on Monday, May 20th, 2019. The Austrian, born in Vienna in 1949, won 25 Formula 1 Grand Prix races out of 171 starts and became World Driver’s Champion three times: in 1974 and 1977 for Ferrari and, again, in 1984 for McLaren. But his legacy is far greater than his sporting results for, behind the numbers, Lauda was one of the sport’s shrewdest, toughest, but also most calculated and clever competitors. He carried those qualities in every area of his life, combining them with a uniquely straightforward attitude.
Monday, millions of racing fans across the globe woke up to the news that Niki Lauda was no longer with us due to complications that arose from a lung transplant as well as resurging kidney problems. Lauda underwent two kidney transplant surgeries, in 1997 and in 2005, and, last year, he underwent a successful lung transplant in the hometown of Vienna. His rehabilitation seemed to be going well, and he even spent the winter holidays in Ibiza with members of his family, but a bout of pneumonia saw Lauda return in intensive care. More recently, he’d been undergoing dialysis at the University Hospital of Zurich, in Switzerland.
Days At The Races, The DTM Returns To Zolder After 17 Years
The turbocharged madness that is the DTM, or the German Touring Car Championship, returned to its birthplace last weekend when the series staged a race at Zolder, in Belgium, after a 17-year hiatus. Was it worth the wait or was the diminutive track that sits merely one hour away from the more famous Spa-Francorchamps just too small from the pack of angry Audis, BMWs, and Aston Martins? Read on to find out.
When you think about racing in Belgium, you most likely picture the famous Eau Rouge uphill chicane that’s the signature bit of the country’s current Grand Prix race track, Spa-Francorchamps. But, besides the fact that the section is called Raidillon, Belgium boasts more than one venue that was bestowed with the honor of hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix. In fact, Zolder, the track I headed for last Friday, hosted the Belgian Grand Prix every year between 1973 and 1984 with the exception of the 1974 edition, when the Grand Prix was moved to Nivelles, and the 1983 edition when competitors dipped their toes in the water at Spa which would become the permanent home of the race from 1985 onwards.
So, it’s fair to say that this little, 2.49-mile long track located in the province of Limburg near Hasselt, in the town of Heusden-Zolder doesn’t deserve the apparent shroud of anonymity that seems to cover the premises. You see, this is a track with its own 24-hour endurance race, a track that has routinely hosted the NASCAR European Series, the FIA European Truck Racing Championship, the FIA GT Series and even the Champ Car World Series 12 years ago. But, just as worthy of a mention is that here, on this tight circuit that features three chicanes and almost no passing opportunities, is where the first DTM race took place on March, 11th 1984.
Car For Sale: 1939 Porsche Type 64
When you think of the first Porsche, you probably have in mind the 1948 Porsche 356/1 also known as the "Porsche No. 1". Indeed, that was the first car to wear the Porsche badge, but you’d have to go back almost a decade to find the first Porsche-named car, and that is the streamlined vehicle that stands before your eyes now. It’s called the Type 64, and three were built precisely 80 years ago of which two survive now, and only this one has the original sheet metal on it. Mechanically, it is a strengthened and tuned Beetle but, as far as looks are concerned, it has the 356’s DNA written all over it. Now, it’s up for auction, and if somebody other than the Porsche Museum buys it, I’ll be shocked.
Porsche’s crazy about its history. The German company has built its reputation via winning races - much like Ferrari has - and it can’t stop reminding everyone about its landmark moments. There are multiple events dedicated to the history of Ferdinand Porsche’s company, such us Luftghekult or the Rennsport Reunion. If you arrive in Stuttgart, the first thing you stumble across is the Porsche Platz, and there, on one side of the roundabout at the entrance of the city, there’s a futuristic-looking building. That’s Porsche’s own museum that’s filled to the brim with everything Porsche both new and old. But Porsche doesn’t currently own this car, the Type 64 chassis #38/41. It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche as a marketing ploy to showcase that you can extract genuine performance from the unassuming platform of the Beetle. If Porsche wants it back, it’ll have to join the crowd at the RM/Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, California, that’s scheduled for August 15th through to the 17th.
The Gruppe5 BMW 2002 Is An 800 Horsepower Blast From The Past with a $1 Million Price Tag
When you bring together one the best BMW engine builders and tuners with one of the best chassis and body designers of the last few decades, you’re bound to get an amazing product. Take it a step further, and task them with re-imagining BMW’s diminutive two-door hit of the late ’60s and early ’70s, the 2002, into a bona fide racer with a Group 5-inspired body kit and as much power as a McLaren 650S. You’ll end up with something like the Gruppe5 2002, a $1 million, flared pocket rocket that you didn’t know you wanted.
Actually; a carbon fiber body with boxy arches and an enormous rear wing that acts as a cage for a 744 horsepower V-10. That’s what you get, plus a lot more, if you wire $875,000 to Gruppe5’s account. Add $100,000 more, and you’ll get 803 horsepower from a bigger version of that same V-10. The catch is that Gruppe5 only plans to build 300 of these bonkers 2002s, 200 with the 744 horsepower engine and 100 with the 803 horsepower unit installed in front of the cabin. When will the renders you see turn into a running and driving car? Pretty soon since Bill and Bob Riley, two of the co-founders of the project as well as the driving power behind Riley Automotive will get cracking after Bob returns from the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Now, if the name Riley rings any bells, I bet you now understand why this thing will cost as much as two Ferrari 812 Superfasts brimming with options. Oh, and that engine guy is none other than Steve Dinan, the founder of Dinan Cars and reputable Daytona Prototype-era engine builder.
On the 41st Anniversary Of The 1978 BMW M1, Here’s The History of Harald Ertl and the Fastest M1 Ever Built
The BMW M1 remains the only true supercar built by BMW and, thanks to the Procar Series that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it enjoys an aura quite like no other supercar. Harald Ertl, the mustachioed Austrian journalist who split his time between writing and racing, decided he liked the sound of "Harald Ertl the Land Speed Record holder" and prepared for the job of creating the most insane M1 seen outside of the racing circuits.
Ertl. Does this name ring any bells in your head? If you are, by chance, or at least used to be a model car aficionado, you might remember the venerable Ertl plastic and die-cast kits. Well, this Ertl has nothing to do with the American toy company because Harald Ertl was Austrian, born on the last day of Summer in 1948 in Zell Am See, a picturesque town in the state of Salzburg. By trade, he was an automotive journalist but, as time wore on, he became more and more involved in racing cars rather than merely testing and writing about them - a bit like Frenchman Paul Frere. Ertl established himself throughout the ’70s as an easily adaptable semi-professional driver who could tame anything from an F2 single-seater to the menacing Zakspeed-built Ford Capri III.
In 1981, he took a sabbatical away from racing and, instead, focused on getting his name carved in the history books as a land speed record holder. His weapon of choice? A twin-turbocharged BMW M1 with a bespoke widebody and about 400 ponies at the crank. Due to the lightness of the thing, the same output you’d find hiding under the body of a Genesis G80 propelled Ertl to a top speed of 187.3 mph. The trick up Ertl’s sleeve was to be found in the tank of the M1. You see, the car was made to run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG), also known as Autogas. No one before Ertl had gone that fast in an LPG-powered car and, in a way, it’s fitting that the current fastest LPG-powered car is also a BMW, only one that tops at almost 207 mph.
Team O’Neil Rally School Explains How to Jump a Car: Video
Pretty much every rally highlight video in existence includes some hero pinning it over a crest, engine bouncing off the rev limiter, all four wheels spinning through the atmosphere. It doesn’t get much more dramatic than jumping a car, but as Team O’Neil explains in this 6-minute video, there’s a bit more to it than planting your foot and death-gripping the steering wheel.
Forza Street Mobile Game is Out and You Can Get it for Free
Hype around a possible mobile Forza game was extremely high, even though some people in the know warned that the upcoming title wasn’t what people were expecting. In fact, as it turns out, the new Forza Street game is not even a new game, but rather a rebranding of an older game that Microsoft launched last year, one that never really saw much success, called Miami Street.
The 2020 Lotus Evora GT4 Concept Previews The Official 2020 Race Car
The Lotus Evora has been around for a fair few years, hasn’t it? It was introduced a decade ago and, since then, not much has changed about what was Evo Magazine’s Car of the Year in 2009. Now, however, Lotus tries to remind us that the Evora is yet to kick the bucket by introducing a revised GT4-spec racing version. The Evora GT4 Concept is also a way for Lotus to announce that it’s launching the Lotus Driving Academy in China and will go on a tour with its new Chinese works drivers to showcase the car’s prowess.
For starters, let me tell you this isn’t really a concept - not like, say, the Volkswagen I.D. Roomzz is a concept. I mean just look at it, for all intents and purposes it looks ready to race. It doesn’t have cartoonishly large wheels or anything that could be considered out of order on a racing car. What it is, is the updated version of the Evora Cup GT4. The Cup GT4 model was based on the 2009 Lotus Evora Type 124 Prototype that previewed Lotus’ambitions to return to GT-based endurance racing. Now, the Evora looks meaner than ever, and we may see it race Stateside too, as well as in Europe.
Best Autocross Car
Motorsport can be both ludicrously expensive and extremely dangerous. Luckily, autocross (alternatively known as auto-x or solo) remedies both those issues without skimping on the adrenaline rush. The premise is simple - race against the clock on a cone-lined course without hitting any of the orange things and post the fastest time. The courses are typically tight and tricky, emphasizing driving skill and vehicle setup over raw horsepower, and as a result, you don’t need to drop half a fortune to run at the front. Given just how accessible and inexpensive autocross is compared to most other motorsports, it makes sense that the vehicles which compete in it are equally accessible and inexpensive. With that in mind, we’ve put together the following list to help you find the best autocross car out there.
The Legacy of Jim Russell
Jim Russell, the founder of the Jim Russell Racing School, can be considered the man behind the careers of many of motorsport’s top drivers including F1 World Champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Derek Bell, and Jenson Button, Le Mans winner Andy Wallace, Indycar aces Johnny Rutherford and Danny Sullivan and many, many more. Russell was also a keen racer himself and earned three British F3 titles in succession in the ’50s.
If you want to kick-off a career in motorsport, you need some deep pockets, an appetite for success, and the right teachers. The teaching can come naturally, through your own hands-on experience, but guidance is sometimes needed. That’s why racing schools have thrived over the years, and that’s why the best in the business can lay claim to some of the success of a bunch of top athletes that have become legends in motor racing. You may have heard of the newly-reborn Skip Barber Racing School or Bob Bondurant’s School for Performance Driving that was recently sold to private investors.
Both of these have hit some rather big hurdles in the past few years, but there’s no denying that taking part in the program of a top racing school can improve your chances of success in your motorsport career as well as making you a better, more aware driver throughout. Jim Russell’s racing school that he established back in 1956 - making it the oldest of the three - is also one of the world’s top organizations of this kind and is, currently, the racing school of the Mont Tremblant circuit in Canada. In the past, Jim Russell’s school also organized programs at Sonoma Raceway and in Russell’s native United Kingdom.
Car for sale: 2001 Cadillac Northstar LMP01 Raced At Le Mans And Now It Could Be Yours
Remember the Cadillac Northstar engines? They were a bunch of highly-advanced, DOHC V-6 and V-8 engines built by Cadillac from the ’90s all the way to 2011. In the early days of the Third Millenium, the Northstar made its way into prototype racing in the middle of the Riley & Scott-developed Cadillac LMP that raced for just three years. This is the fourth chassis ever made, and it was raced by the factory in the American Le Mans Series and at Le Mans in 2000 and 2001. Sadly, unlike the current Cadillac DPi-V.R, the LMP project was ambitious, but the money flow stopped just as the car was getting good and GM ditched its plans of replicating Ford’s Le Mans glory.
Believe it or not, Cadillac first raced at Le Mans in the year 1950 when Briggs S. Cunningham brought two Series 61 models, the first Americans to race at Le Mans in two decades. One of the two Caddies featured an aerodynamic bodywork designed in the Grumman Aircraft wind tunnel with the aim being to achieve a low drag coefficient. Half a century later, Cadillac returned at Le Mans with an angular-looking prototype that, while looking quite a bit like Cadillac’s products at the time, was underpinned by a proven chassis. The problem, though, was the engine. It was always about the Northstar, and it took Cadillac two years to make it reliable and then, in year number three, they finally started working on performance, and the results started to come. The fourth year was supposed to be the one when everything came together, and the target was locked on the laurels everyone was after - but it never happened.